Set the Swiss letter record straight: SC
26 September, 2012
ISLAMABAD: Objecting to the blue-pencilling of certain mandatory parts of the draft letter to be sent to Swiss authorities, the Supreme Court (SC) has ordered the government to rescript the text strictly in the light of SC guidelines, our sources reported.
A five-member bench headed by Justice Asif Khosa heard the contempt of court case against the prime minister of Pakistan, Raja Pervez Ashraf for non-implementation of the highest court's NRO verdict.
The judges took a strong exception to the revised draft of the letter submitted in the court for it did not mention the reopening of alleged cases of corruptions against President Asif Ali Zardari.
The Supreme Court decreed that if the deadline were not met this time it would push the proceedings of contempt case against Prime Miniseter Raja Pervex Asharaf ahead.
Earlier during the hearing, Justice Khosa told law minister Farooq H. Naek that the court had asked for the Swiss letter draft, submitted in the court a day earlier, to be revised adding that he hoped that those revisions had been made.
To this Farooq H Naek made a plea that he may be heard in the Chamber for resolving the issue, but the court rejected his supplication.
Justice Asif Saeed Khosa in his remarks said that it would not be possible for us to hear you in the chamber for discussing punctuation.
Farooq Naek insisting said this was a sensitive matter, which could not be discussed here. Government counsel Wasim Sajjad would also accompany me in the Chamber, he said.
However, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa told Farooq Naek that whatever you want to say---say it in the court to maintain the transparency.
Later, Rarooq Naek submitted Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf's authority letter delegating the law minister to draft the letter and a revised draft of the letter to the court.
Thereafter, the court had declared a short break and the judges went to the Chamber for consultations.
Later, the hearing resumed in the judges' chamber.
In the end the court adjourned the case till October 5.
Former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was thrown out of office in June after being convicted of contempt for refusing to write to the Swiss.
Until its climbdown last week, the government argued it was unable to write to the Swiss as Zardari enjoys complete immunity from prosecution as head of state.
The allegations against Zardari date back to the 1990s, when he and his late wife, former premier Benazir Bhutto, are suspected of laundering $12 million allegedly paid in bribes by companies seeking customs inspection contracts.